Brooklyn Cyclists Volunteer to Escort Women Home in Sex Attack-Plagued Park Slope

09/23/2011 11:31 AM |

Jay Ruiz, founder of the Brooklyn Bike Patrol.
  • Jay Ruiz, founder of the Brooklyn Bike Patrol.

Responses to the recent wave of sex attacks in south Park Slope—the latest of which occurred Wednesday evening on Prospect Avenue between Fourth and Fifth avenues—have already included a march, free self-defense classes, and increased police patrolling, and now a local bike messenger dispatcher has launched a volunteer cyclist escort system for women walking home from subway stops in Park Slope and Prospect Heights alone.

In an interview with the New York Daily News Jay Ruiz, the 55-year-old who founded Brooklyn Bike Patrol, says:

We just want the monsters to stop already. [...] It’s so bad to see women getting attacked. I feel like I have to do something. [...] The cops can’t be everywhere. Just give us a call and we’ll have someone there.

You can reach Ruiz at 718-744-7592, or on Facebook. Service currently features ten volunteer cyclists, and operates from roughly 8pm to midnight in Park Slope and Prospect Heights, where Ruiz lives. According to the group’s Facebook page, 5 people made use of Ruiz and his bike messenger friends’ service on Wednesday night.

That evening’s attack, however, brought the total number of attacks to ten—nine assaults and one rape—and the NYPD now believes this is the work of at least two serial attackers. In the meantime, Ruiz’s bike patrol service will surely be hugely helpful.

(Photo: Brooklyn Bike Patrol/Facebook)

One Comment

  • Perhaps the best way to stop these assaults is for more women to learn how to protect themselves, and I’m not just talking about those namby pamby “non-violent” self defense courses that teach women evasive actions that leave the perp unharmed, only to rape again another day. I would rather see women learning how to permanently blind their attacker with a set of keys, rupture his spleen with the tip of an umbrella, or surgically curtail his reign of terror with a pair of sharp scissors or a nail file deftly introduced into a crucial neck artery.

    What law enforcement authorities prefer not to tell potential victims is that, for purposes of self defense, rape is the legal equivalent of deadly physical force and that an intended victim of forceable rape may legally kill her attacker, whether or not he is armed, if she feels, as would a “prudent woman,” that doing so is necessary to prevent or curtail the rape. The police seem worried that a weapon in the hands of a victim might be turned against her by a stronger and more skilled attacker, but that presupposes that civilian women will not become trained as well as, say, female soldiers or police officers. This has to change.

    Scissors, keys, nail files, and umbrellas are not considered weapons until used as such, and, if used justifiably, they do not become illegal weapons as would an unlicensed gun or a knife designed primarily for fighting. Of course, pepper spray may be preferable and easier to use, as escape is a safer option than close combat with an armed assailent, although pepper spray could backfire in a small vestibule or other enclosed space. Either way, be sure to use either the spray OR the scissors, but not both, as stabbing an already visually compromised assailant, when escape is otherwise possible, may be seen by authorities as the unjustified use of excessive force. BTW, I am not an attorney, so be sure to consult one before preparing for battle. Good luck.